The misadventures of Melanie the misanthrope

Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay in April...

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I’m at Cheshire coffee sunk down so low in one of their leather armchairs you can barely make out the top of my head.  I’m sitting in front of the fire with my latte – absolute perfection in this moment!  I don’t even mind the smorgasbord of people pilfering the space.  All single people sitting cloistered at table’s hugging the wall, hugging their newspapers or scribbling away on notepads, laptops.  And because we’re all alone, we’re together.

I love the companionship of complete strangers sharing the same space.  We don’t have to talk or look at each other – just sit.  Complete strangers just sitting together in a happenstance moment inside the brief history of human existence.  Here we sit.  Here we exist together.  Small things make me happy.  It’s not exactly a misanthropic feeling (a word I just learned today), but I’m more misanthropic than not.

It’s really the perfect place to be when you don’t feel like talking to anyone, but don’t want to be alone either.  Is this why people sit in coffee shops?  To be alone, but not alone?  I came here originally to blog because I get too distracted at my house – but I can see other benefits to this communal place.  This is my coffee-house culture.  Thousands of years from now archeologists will unearth my laptop and dust it ever-so gently like delicate old pottery.

Oh good song!  A slow Jimmy Hendrix song, don’t know the name though – awesomeness in its full reign of reach.

I am supremely exhausted.  During the blackout, I read The Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn by candle-light, so pardon me if my writing style sounds a bit south of the Mississippi.

Last Friday (5 days ago), I massaged for six hours before painting my face three times over so I could pass for a geisha.  It taken me so long getting ready – much longer than anticipated.  One of my anxiety triggers is running late for people.  Just visualizing a person waiting for me all alone breaks me out in a cold sweat.  If they’re not waiting alone, than the heat is off me a little, but I still panic.

My coworkers were helping me zip my boots, zip my dress, helping with my barrage of accessories I found on amazon.  I slung my sword over my back and ran out the door to my car like I was running over hot stones – my four-inch heel bandit boots are meant for sitting down, not running.

I got to the Museum party and all was well except I felt that overwhelming feeling of not being able to do enough; I couldn’t give my friends the proper attention they deserved.

I was tired and haven’t had a good Think for a while.  A good Think session for me is to write about everything, compartmentalized, and find my next plan of action – well, all that’s been missing for a while.  I haven’t had time for a good Think until now.

My brother’s fiance just sat down with her laptop.  She owns the little spa next to here – the one I’ve worked at for about four years now.  She’s doing laundry there and came in for a cup of joe.

This is tricky because my parents think I’m at work.  They lent me their car because mine has no heat nor defrost, but what boggle’s me is they picked a perfectly warm day (today) to lend me their car.  Why couldn’t they lend it last night when I had to drive my brother in my iceburg mobile?

Anyway, after the museum party, I went home, washed my face and went to bed, only I couldn’t sleep.  I was exhausted, but couldn’t fall asleep from the adrenaline.

I woke up freezing in the middle of the night and put a total of five blankets over me – including the old knitted one that smells funky.  When the alarm woke me up at 9, I was in no working order.  And I haven’t been in working order since.

When I arrived at work everyone was all in a titter over a snow storm.

Me – “What snow storm?”

Someone – “The Nor’easter that supposed to hit.”

Little did I know there was going to be one of the biggest most devastating freak October snow storms in history – well, my history.

I massaged my first two clients, and during my third session, we lose power.  That’s when I start to worry.  I massaged in the complete pitch blackness my third and last client and was told I could leave, “we’re closing early.”

I don’t remember it being cold out on my way to work.  My gloves were still packed away in the trunk of my car from last winter and I was wearing my fall jacket.  There I was completely unprepared dusting off and scraping my car windows and getting pelted by globs of wet ice.

I get in my car, turn my key and put on my heat.  Nothing happens.  I put on my defrost.  Again, nothing.  I couldn’t see shit out my windows, I was cold, hungry, tired with zero visibility in my future and certain death.  I thought about calling my Dad, but he’s 66 or 67 and can’t see that well anymore and so I decided it best to not put his life in danger.  So I pulled myself up by the bandit boot straps and skidded off into darkness – quite literal darkness mind you.

I couldn’t see shit.  My logic was that as long as the temperature of my windshield matched the temperature outside, it wont fog or freeze up on me, so you know what I did?  I rolled down my windows.  I rolled them down and kept them down on my long 30 mile trek home which taken me well over 2 hours to conquer.

I passed countless cars that lay swept to the side of the road, immobile, dark and burried.  They felt like fallen comrades in the war against nature and all I could think was, “Thank God it’s not me.”

I gripped the wheel at ten and two until I was white knuckled and couldn’t feel my pinkies.  I concentrated all my energy – squinting with determination when out of nowhere a big truck storms by and splashes a wave of muddy brown highway sludge fresh into my gaping mouth.  Onto my pants, my whole left arm.

“Fucking sons of bitches.  What the fuck.  Shit.”

I really wasn’t that upset at the truck, that’s just my usual response to anything unpleasant.

At this point I could no longer feel my toes.  The snow that fell was so thick and sticky – kids would say it’s good packing snow for snowball fights and snowmen.

It’s not even like a lot of snow fell, it was the temperature change.  The snow was compacted, sticky and dense.  It clung to tree branches ripping them down onto houses and electrical wires.  Most of Connecticut was in a blackout an hour into the storm.

Did I mention I was on E?  I had virtually no gas in my car.  My car was running on my adrenaline.  I passed by two gas stations before hopping on the highway – they had no power.  Then when I got on the highway I completely missed my exit and had to take a ten or fifteen minute detour where I found an open gas station.  But everyone crowded and became belligerent, honking and hollering – I got scared and pulled around and left without filling up.

I wouldn’t last long in an apocalypse.

Anyway, I made it home.

I made it back to my dark house, pulled my clothes off, lit some candles and pulled the covers up over my head.  I was done.  Completely.

Sunday….what did I do sunday?  I don’t know but I didn’t have power.  I read by candle light and planned to stay that way, nestled in bed for the rest of the day, but I got asked to go to dinner and a movie, so I went out to dinner and a movie in Wallingford – the one town in CT that didn’t lose power.  They somehow generate their own power supply, so they never lose it.  Every restaurant was packed to the brim.  When I got home I crawled into bed and pulled the covers up over my head.  I basked in the darkness and actually enjoyed it.

On Monday I went to take a shower at my brother’s house.  There were some roads closed, limbs and wires hanging about in the streets – yellow police tape and orange cones everywhere.  I pulled up onto my brothers lawn because there was no place else to park, and got stuck there.  I had to be fished out by a hook on a wire – mud splashed up and covered my car, my boots.  I felt utterly helpless during the ordeal.  I single-handedly destroyed my brother’s lawn.  I tried to dig one of my tires out using a heavy 6 ft piece of timber because I couldn’t find a shovel.

My brother – “What are you doing?  Don’t use that.  You want to destroy my fence post too?”

I watched the mud swish around under the big piece of timber and I thought to myself, “what am I doing?  This feels like a bad dream.  Nothing makes sense.  Is this real?”

I needed to blog.  Blogging is my medicine.

Originally I needed to shower for a doctor’s appointment that day.  It was going to be a $125 visit for a doctor to sign a little piece of paper saying I needed a blood test.  My appointment got cancelled of course, and so I drove around all over CT looking for a place to plug in my laptop – witnessing first hand the damage of the storm along my hunt.

Every place that offered WiFi was packed.  Starbucks had no parking, there was no room in the library.  The bookstore had people littering the isles on their laptops – every outlet in the store was stuffed up and it’s owner sat plum on the floor with their coffee and charging their Iphones while they’re at it.  It reminded me of South Korea when I couldn’t step anywhere without stepping on a Korean nesting on the subway car behind my knee’s.

Blogging was out.

My brain was fried and felt as backed up as the gas stations.  Cars lined up and down the road waiting for a pump to open.  Some people got stuck in these pump lines without realizing it was the line for the gas station – luckily I wasn’t one of them.

All this exhausted me to pieces, so I went home, crawled into bed and put the covers up over my head.  Then after a half hour or so, I went to the bar.  I felt so listless and crabby, but beer was there.  Sadly beer couldn’t pull me out of my funk, so I went home.  Then I went to the bar again the next day, and was going to go to another bar after that bar but couldn’t be yanked out of bed for anything except maybe to go to Billy O’s because Joel goes to Billy O’s and they have a pool table and darts.  Game’s wake me up for the better.  But I stayed home – I needed to blog, but was too distracted and tired.

Damn I’m tired.  Really, REALLY tired.  I want to hole myself up till spring and play video games, never leave my bedroom.  Just blog and read, read and blog.

I never rescheduled my doctor’s appointment.  I’m never going to college, it’s not meant to happen.  I’m going to be a recluse, a vagabond.

No, I’m okay.  Really, I’m okay.  I just need a good night’s sleep.  I wish I had sleeping pills – oh I would love a sleeping pill right about now, but I have none.  I’ll drink tea.  Tea will work.

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Filed under humor, journal

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